“Germany’s shooting clubs pride themselves on being bastions of tradition, with many tracing their roots to the early 19th century and the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. Members don traditional uniforms to practice their marksman skills.” Another tradition they practice (although apparently not as rigorously as they used to) is restricting membership to Christians. Mithat Gedik, a German of Turkish ancestry, did after all, manage to gain membership. The problem came when he had the effrontery to win his local gun club’s Schuetzenkoenig championship title . . .
All of Gedik’s hard werk did not macht for much zufriednheit at the national shoot organization level. As reuters.com reports,
There was initially no objection to Gedik’s victory on July 18 in the shooting competition at the St. Georg Soennern-Proebsting gun club, one of thousands of such contests across Germany.
But after he won there was an investigation about whether as a Muslim he qualified to be a member. The rules say the club’s aim is to promote “Christian and historical culture”.
It’s not as if a desire for racial and cultural purity has gotten Germany into any difficulty in the past or anything.
After what Reuters describes as “national outrage” ensued, the National Association of Historic German Shooting Brotherhoods, the national umbrella organization, did a quick 180, goose-stepped up the the nearest microphone und announced that Gedik could, in fact, keep the title he’d won fair and square.
“It is completely incomprehensible that we still need to have these debates in the 21st century,” Gedik, whose parents came to Germany from Turkey decades ago,
So all’s well that ends well, at least as far as Herr Gedik’s title is concerned. Still, he might want to consider the sage advice of that noted observer of the human condition, Groucho Marx, who refused to belong to any club that would have him as a member. He may also want to re-think his choice of fatherland.